Internet security is a topic that attracts plenty of attention, particularly when the transfer of money comes into the equation. This is hardly surprising, given the numerous instances of identity theft, hacking and scamming that seem to hit the headlines practically every day.
When it comes to gambling online, the stakes, quite literally, are raised to another level. Perhaps it is because some people have an instinctive suspicion of casinos – one that probably has more to do with Hollywood than anything else – or maybe it is because the very purpose of an online casino revolves around financial transactions online. Unlike an everyday ecommerce site, those transactions can go both ways – does this mean double the risk?
Before we go any further, it is important to stress that the online casino market is a huge, multi billion dollar global industry that features some of the biggest corporate names in the leisure industry. It is also highly competitive and closely regulated. This is not to say that casino scams do not occur – as the cautionary tales at scams.info illustrate, there are always exceptions that prove the rule.
However, the competitive and regulated industry in which these respected organisations operate means that there are neither the opportunities nor the drivers for major online casinos to defraud customers. Reputation and trust are the watchwords, and to lose either would spell the end of their businesses.
Protect your information
The biggest threat when you gamble online is not from the site itself but from other players who might not always be quite as they seem. The ability to play games like poker and baccarat online against real opponents is one of the most exciting developments in gaming history, but it also carries its risks.
Online chat facilities are great, but always be guarded about disclosing personal information. Chatting about your home town, birthday and pets might seem innocuous enough until you think about those security questions that you are always asked. Online scammers are the confidence tricksters of the 21st century, and are skilled in their arts.
Check site security
We mentioned earlier that casinos build their reputations on the basis of trust and safety. However, in every industry there are the occasional fly-by-night chancers that appear one day and are gone the next. If you decide to join a new online casino that is offering amazing deals and bonuses, the chances are it is above board, but it never hurts to check.
Casinos are licensed and regulated by the official bodies in the country where they are based. In the UK, for example, this is the Gambling Commission and in Malta it is Malta Gaming Authority. Details of the casino’s operating license will be prominent on the site.
Similarly, when it comes to money transfers, you should expect to see a choice of recognised payment platforms, such as PayPal, Netteller and the like, along with certifications and accreditations attesting to the encryption and security of the site.
In the event that any of these are absent, step away slowly, and do not return.